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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the digital divide affecting millions of American families, especially those in low-income households. One of the most pernicious challenges is the divide between those with reliable access to computers and high-speed Internet in their homes and those without. Rob and Jackie discuss how local governments are on the front lines of addressing this challenge—and what the federal government can do to support healthy and inclusive digital ecosystems nationwide—with Joshua Edmonds, Director of Digital Inclusion for the City of Detroit, Michigan.
- Rocket Mortgage, “Detroit’s Vision To Be Fully Connected: Here’s How The City Is Bridging Its Digital Divide,” Forbes advertorial,August 12, 2020.
- Connect 313, City of Detroit Digital Inclusion Program.
- Robert D. Atkinson, et al., “Digital Policy for Physical Distancing: 28 Stimulus Proposals That Will Pay Long-Term Dividends” (ITIF, April 2020).
- Robert D. Atkinson, Mark Muro, and Jacob Whiton, “The Case for Growth Centers: How to Spread Tech Innovation Across America” (ITIF, December 2019).
Rob Atkinson: Welcome to Innovation Files. I’m Rob Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. We’re a D.C.-based think tank that works on technology policy.
Jackie Whisman: And I’m Jackie Whisman. I handle outreach at ITIF, which I’m proud to say is the world’s top-ranked think tank for science and technology policy.
Rob Atkinson: And this podcast is about the kinds of issues we cover at ITIF, from the broad economics of innovation to specific policy and regulatory questions about new technologies. Today, we’re talking about digital inclusion and what cities are doing to address the very serious and important issue of the digital divide.
Jackie Whisman: And our guest is pretty much a rock star on these issues and in a profile in Forbes that I found, it was said that under his leadership, Detroit may emerge from the pandemic as a national model for digital inclusion, effectively eliminating the digital divide among at school age population. We are on board.
Rob Atkinson: Can you be the digital czar of the U.S., Joshua?
Jackie Whisman: Next.
Rob Atkinson: We haven’t even introduced our guest-
Jackie Whisman: Yeah, I’ll introduce him.
Rob Atkinson: Yeah.
Jackie Whisman: So we’re joined today by Joshua Edmonds, who serves as director of digital inclusion for the City of Detroit, Michigan. He’s responsible for developing and implementing a citywide, sustainable digital inclusion strategy on behalf of the 100,000+ residents lacking fixed broadband access. He has really hit the ground running, and Detroit is already getting a ton of attention for his efforts there, and we’re excited to hear about his important work.
Welcome to the podcast, Joshua.
Joshua Edmonds: Thank you so much. I did not know I had a Forbes profile, so-
Jackie Whisman: Oh, I’ll send it to you, I’ll put it in the show notes.
Joshua Edmonds: ...I’ll Google that. But definitely excited to be here, and thankful for you all accepting the opportunity for us, for myself, and Detroit, to be heard on a national level, that’s appreciated, always.
Jackie Whisman: We’re really happy to have you here and excited to talk about this. And your role with the city is relatively new and you started in 2019, but really, Detroit was ahead of the curve in thinking about digital inclusion, because most places waited for COVID to hit to start haphazardly addressing the digital divide. Can you describe your role and your goals for Detroit?
Joshua Edmonds: Heck yes. One, this all goes back to Mayor Duggan and Beth Niblock, who is our chief information officer. They were thinking about this years ago, roughly around 2016, 2017.
And I’m glad that you’re making the distinction on COVID-responsive digital inclusion plans, opposed to... what was our response? Our response was, it was the right thing to do. As we’re looking at the ecosystem and... for quite some time, Detroit has been experiencing what people refer to as a renaissance, and saying, “Wow, Detroit’s coming back.” And that is true. It’s absolutely true. I’m a resident of one of our growing neighborhoods in Detroit.
And one of the things when we began looking at digital inclusion, there were so many different angles for which the mayor and other public leadership was looking at the digital divide saying, all right, if we need to hire more Detroiters, getting them in tech jobs, this flows right through... this is that conversation.
And I think that there was a real moment when the Amazon HQ2 expansion was happening, and all these cities were submitting those bids, there was an a-ha moment to say, we’re submitting this bid, but what are we building to actually prepare our tech ecosystem in Detroit? And so we’re not really focused... we weren’t really focused on the pandemic as something to respond to, because we had already built that foundation.
Everyone has heard me say this, the ultimate goal for what we’re doing in Detroit, it is to operationalize the digital divide. And what I mean by that, that’s cutting down lag time. That’s not saying that, man, let’s wait three months or six months to do fundraising to help those 100 veterans get computers. No. How do we build out an operation that as there’s a need, and that as new resources are coming into our city, we are just pumping those out. We’re going, we’re moving at the speed of the game.
And so as I’m looking right now, our goal right now is to really build out this operation, but to link arms with our public sector, our private sector, our community, our nonprofits, and that is under what we call Connect 313. And so Connect 313 is a nexus of partners, all agreeing to eradicate the digital divide and do it in a way where we’re not leaving anyone behind, and we’re focusing on a variety of things... everything from our workforce to our distance learning and education, to our healthcare delivery. Even for small businesses, per se, how do we collectively put that under one umbrella, one operation, and we move forward together as one city and one region.
Rob Atkinson: There are a number of things that you’re doing that I think are real models and unique. And that’s one of them, is this real... the core part of it, really, is a partnership. And the second part of it though, also, is there’s a lot of different components that have to be put in place to make this work.
There’s access to the technology itself, do you have a tablet or a laptop, or even just a smartphone. There’s the ability to have good digital literacy and skills. And then obviously, at the core of all that, is broadband. So I want to start with that. One of the things that’s obvious, although it’s frustrating to us, because we’ve been hammering this for years, of the importance of having universal broadband access... ensure universal broadband access and adoption, and making sure that we have income support for people who can’t afford that.
Well, we wake up after COVID, and oh, gee, we haven’t done that, and we better get at it, we should’ve done it before but hopefully now we’re going to do it. But one of the issues I think is oftentimes confusing to people is you read stories about cities like New York or Detroit or Washington, and they’ll say, X percentage of people don’t have broadband access. And actually, as you and I have spoken before, it’s not really true, X percent of people don’t adopt broadband. But in places like Detroit, there’s... I’m assuming, it’s certainly true in D.C., for example, that I do know, there’s broadband mostly everywhere. But the issue is really about adoption.
How do you see... first of all, is that true in Detroit, and then secondly, what are you doing to make sure that people who maybe have cable or wire goes down their street, or fixed wireless, but maybe they don’t adopt? What are you doing, really, in that space?
Joshua Edmonds: Well, I’ll say, a lot. There’s a lot there to even unpack with that. When we’re looking at universal broadband adoption and access, the fact that we even need to frame this is indicative of the larger issue. There’s a lot of unlearning we need to do. There’s so many people, so many times, where I’m like, “That’s an adoptive thing, that’s not an access thing.” They’re like, “Well, wait a second. Josh, we just heard you say 30% of Detroiters don’t have internet access.” I’m like, “Oh.”
So I understand and I’m doing my best to work through even just the language itself. But when we take it one step further and begin looking at the percentages, it’s something where locally, we live in a duopoly. And most of your big cities live in duopolies, as it relates to your fixed, home broadband internet providers. And so we have Comcast, AT&T.
And this goes back to my experience when I first really started getting into this digital inclusion stuff, I was working on President Obama’s ConnectHome initiative, in Cleveland. And when I was doing that, it became very, very apparent... I knew this, but seeing it in action, to say to someone, “Yeah, I have a past due bill with AT&T, so now I’m going to try Comcast.” Well, now a past due bill with Comcast. And so their household has the ability to access the internet.
However, due to the billing situation, and if we’re looking at the under banked population, you’re going to see a correlation between the under banked percentage... which is approximately 25% of Detroit, being under banked, which you’re going to see that across most urban cities, that doesn’t make Detroit special. But 25% there, and then a 29% figure not having internet access of any kind.
And you’re going to look at it and say, wow, those figures look eerily similar, that’s across the board. And so what we’re saying is like, all right, I’m actually getting to the root of the issue. Yes, from an infrastructure standpoint, could we stand to benefit from better data collection? Yes. And that flows all the way down from the FCC, by their own admission, to local levels of us even saying, we don’t know who has high speed internet in Detroit and who doesn’t, because we don’t really have that level of sophistication as it relates to our own data collection. We see the percentages, but I can’t tell you household A has broadband, household B doesn’t. None of us can.
And so the root of it, and that’s something that we are actually developing, a data trust where we’re going to be able to do that. And we’re going to be able to empower anyone to lean in on the digital divide in Detroit, that we are getting that information at the onset, so that way, we’re not making investments that don’t yield any type of return. And so that’s one thing where we’re getting in front right now.
The second thing, as it relates to how are we helping residents. We are very, very fortunate to have been able to fundraise for an entity called Human IT. Human It is a nonprofit social enterprise based out of Los Angeles. However, they’ve actually been able to open up an operation in Detroit. Their basic business model is very similar to what you’re going to see in other markets, where they take in technology and they refurbish it and then redistribute it to the community. But they have already figured out, what’s the point in us giving people computers, if we’re not giving those people internet access as well.
And so what we’re starting to see, everyone’s going to use the internet the same way in Detroit and across the nation. So if I’m a family of six, for example, and I’ve moved five times in the past a year, a contractual agreement with one of these wire line providers doesn’t really make much sense, because you’re going to get dinged on the cancellation fee. And so that’s something where it’s like, okay, that’s a hotspot option.
And for other people who aren’t aware of something, even these low cost options, we owe it to our residents to actually be their champion and stand behind them and provide them the best internet for their circumstance and situation. Historically, no one has been able to do that across the United States, and that’s something that we’re raising our hand saying, no, we want to be positioned for... a resident are looking to connect, how do we identify those barriers, how to identify the bad data on the backend for us to strategically allocate resources, and at the same time, empower them with whatever provider, whatever option works best for them.
Rob Atkinson: No, that’s fantastic. You mentioned this partnership with computers, which I think is really critical. I live in the suburbs of D.C. and I just bought a new laptop because of COVID and because my other one, I couldn’t do video very well or whatever. It’s an okay laptop, it’s only four years old. It’s not bad. And I would love to donate it. And I probably will, but it’s hard for me to find out where can I do it? Am I 100% sure they’re going to wipe it clean?
I think there’s real opportunities there for people who have maybe a computer that they need any more, and it’s not like a 386... it’s still pretty good, you can do pretty... do you have programs like that, are you thinking about things like that?
Joshua Edmonds: We absolutely are. This is something where I’ve told everybody when I came to Detroit in the beginning, if you are in Detroit and you are passionate about your community, there is a place for you and [inaudible 00:11:49].
So if you’re a resident saying, hey, I have a computer, I have an old cell phone, I have something that I’m just not quite using, I have a VCR. Those are the type of things that we can actually say, let’s activate our community and getting them to lean in beyond you having to be a network engineer to understand the quality of networks and [inaudible 00:12:14] residents. No, if you have a computer, let’s lean in there. If you have access to technology, let’s lean in there.
And so we are really looking to say, how do we activate individual residents, all the way up to corporations. So we’re thankful for partners like Quicken Loans here locally, who has already signed a contract with Human IT, so they’re going to take all of their technology from their 23,000+ employees they have nationally, and then divert that technology back to Detroit, so that way, all of our impact and all of our technology stays in Detroit for the benefit of Detroiters.
And so that’s something where... and they’re doing this with other corporations, too, but Quicken Loans was the first one locally to do that, and that’s a precedent saying, hey, companies, we’re not just going after you for a capital ask. We’re not asking you to fund the digital divide in perpetuity off of corporate social responsibility dollars, we’re more so saying, what are your existing business practices, and how can we align there and be sustainable, to at least address symptoms of this digital divide, for which not having a device is just one of those terrible symptoms.
Rob Atkinson: That’s fantastic. Really great. I’m glad to hear that, that’s great.
Jackie Whisman: Because really, affordability is only a small part of the problem. The digital divide is about barriers to adoption, like access to devices, digital literacy, tech support, aren’t really options for everyone.
Joshua Edmonds: Not a chance. And even if you began looking at large urban cities, specifically the cities, where are you going to find that support? Where are you going to finding retail? Those are in the suburbs. And if we’re looking at these mobility challenged cities, well then, that keeps exacerbating this even more and more and more.
And so for us to say, hey, we want to make sure that we’re making this within our city and then providing that lane for affordable tech support, because you have a whole lot of people in Detroit that... And again, across the nation, who might have a computer, but that computer is broken and they can’t go out to the suburbs, and if they do go out to the suburbs, they’re looking at a very hefty cost for tech support.
At some moment, we just have to say stop. Everyone stop. Drop what you’re doing, let’s take a breather, because clearly how we set up our society, it does not allow us to actually proceed in a way that has benefits for us to usher in this new wave of the future and us cities feeling confident to engage. And so this is where [inaudible 00:14:25] okay, these are all the challenges, and this is how connecting with you can address all of those [inaudible 00:14:32].
Rob Atkinson: One of the challenges, you look around the country and you’re in you see programs are trying to address the digital divide. And they’ll do one thing, kind of like with a government program. The challenge is, it’s so multifaceted. You have to have partners, the partners, including the carriers, the ISP, both the wireless and wire line... like you said, your big corporate companies. Otherwise high schools, colleges... everybody. Citizens who can help and volunteer and all that.
That holistic part of it is fantastic. Going back to this computer thing, I always remember getting into a debate with a colleague of mine a few years ago, where he was saying, African-Americans have a high share of smartphone ownership and that’s true. But my point was, my daughter doesn’t do her homework on a smartphone. She needs a tablet at minimum or a laptop or some kind of larger screen. I guess my question is, do you agree with that? Do you think that in this world of COVID and particularly for families with kids, that solving the digital divide is not just about a smartphone. It has to be more than that.
Jackie Whisman: And it’s not really just about kids. You can’t really do any kind of work from home on a smartphone.
Joshua Edmonds: Absolutely. And this is something where... Oh man, I laugh to keep myself from crying. It’s just something where I keep telling people, we literally act as if this 20 to 30% conundrum of across America, of these people not having internet... and then roughly in Detroit, about 45% of these households not having a desktop or laptop, 20% of them only having cell phones as their primary usage to connect and then to engage in the digital world.
When we’re looking at statistics like that, we almost look at them as if they’re not a part of our cities, as if they’re not a part of our workforce, as if they’re not directly tied to our tax bases. As if it’s so removed. And I told someone else before, because they said, “Josh, you’re talking about giving out refurbished computers, is that good enough for you? Does that work for another family?” I said, “I’ve had the same refurbished old computer for the past eight years.” I’m not willing to tell a resident or tell a neighbor or tell a family member, anyone, to say, take this less than approach.
And that’s exactly what the cell phone is. It is a less than approach. Why would we be looking at our future workforce and hindering them? It doesn’t make any sense. And so, no, absolutely not, the smartphone is nowhere close to good enough. It is such an insult to the people. And it’s an insult to our own future to say that, wow, we’re equipping our future leaders with cell phones, so they’re already starting further behind. Why would we enter that?
And so whenever I see people bring up the smartphone, I’m looking at them like they’re crazy. I’m like, no, you’re conflating issues. You’re looking at internet access as if that is the only way to find the digital divide. The digital divide, looking at the prism, there are multiple divides within the divide itself. It’s if you only frame it as access to the internet, okay, fine. Good job. You’re right. Gold star. But if you’re looking at the [inaudible 00:17:40] of the entire spectrum, you’re like, oh my god, the smartphone is missing the mark, and now we’re conditioning people to believe that the smartphone is good enough. So then when it comes time for a job, then when it comes time for being able to type, or looking at productivity, we’ve now shot ourselves in the foot at the onset, because our expectations were too low.
And so that’s where I refuse vocally to even settle for that. No, everybody gets a computer. And everyone’s getting the training to be able to use that computer. Everyone’s getting tech support, so that way, if the computer breaks, we’re not falling back on our smartphones.
Rob Atkinson: Joshua, next time I see my colleague, who I think you might know, I won’t say his name. I’m going to say, “Joshua agrees with me. You can’t just have smartphones. They’re important, but they’re not enough.” Look at people who are knowledge works, who live out in Ann Arbor or something like that. Most of them have a smartphone and another device. So if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough... in other words, that’s what you need now. You can’t just assume, we’ll give people just this little device.
Joshua Edmonds: Absolutely. That approach extends beyond even just the device. People know how I approach digital inclusion, because this is just something... it’s rooted in personal experiences, and so many different things are like, no, I refuse. If it’s not good enough for me, it shouldn’t be good enough for anyone else.
And so as I look at some of these low cost internet programs, even the way that they word it, where it’s like, oh, this is for the low-income. If you’ve ever been low-income, or you ever lived [inaudible 00:19:14] to people who are low-income, no one wants to wear that hat, the low-income hat. “Hey, I have low income.” No one wants that. And so when I see people branding these things like that, and saying, “Well, why isn’t there a pay grade on it?” Well, because, you’re already insulting these people, and so then you keep giving them less and of course, they don’t want to engage.
And so this is something where we are getting in front of that, and that’s where Connect 313 becomes this cultural thing. We’re looking at, how do we embed this within the culture, so it isn’t just this stale flyer. We’re really trying to just pull all the strings as possible, to understand why these people aren’t adopting beyond the obvious.
And so now we’re getting into the nuance of civic life, culture, values, all those things that people might look at as, that’s an after the fact, that’s not really a technical thing. I’m like, no, it absolutely is. The more we keep them separate, the own impact that we’re mitigating consistent.
Rob Atkinson: Joshua, maybe two last questions. One is you mentioned, like many communities, broadband has evolved with a cable provider using a cable broadband, now up to very high speeds, and then a telephone wire line broadband provider that is usually extended fiber, either all the way to their home or deep into the neighborhood. And you mentioned Comcast and AT&T.
What’s their role in this whole process? And then related to that, I see some cities with sort of the same challenges you have and sort of the same system you have, and they spend a lot of their time and political capital and financial capital on building a municipal provider. And not instead saying, okay, let’s get a partnership with our providers, let’s get them really with skin in the game, and then let’s focus on these challenges of devices, of literacy, all these other things. Can you say a little bit more about that, how you’re looking at that issue?
Joshua Edmonds: Yeah. Oh man, I’m going to get in trouble. Because this is recorded, I know it is. But the municipal broadband approach, every single time someone brings that up to me, I just look at it and I’m like, look, fundamentally, I don’t care who owns this network. At the end of the day, there’s a huge percentage of Americans not adopting. That’s not an ownership issue. There’s tons of other reasons why that is.
And so for us, I don’t really care about the ownership part, I more so care about, why aren’t people adopting this, and how do we work together? So at Connect 313, we literally have a table for where every internet provider sits at, that’s something where like, okay, these are the opportunities in front of us. Who wants to raise their hand to help? Man up, who is it?
And taking it one step further, when we look at, specifically, our internet providers who... like T-Mobile, for example. T-Mobile actually has 56,000 accounts with Detroit public school students. Because we looked at coverage mapping, we looked at a number of factors, price, cost, whatever. But earlier this year we were able to go out through a partnership with the school district, the city, the [inaudible 00:22:16] foundation... A number of other folks [inaudible 00:22:19] so sorry if I forgot anyone. But it’s 56,000 accounts where T-Mobile is providing internet to those homes as well as Comcast.
And so you might wonder, well, why both? Why isn’t it just one? Well, when we began looking at the lifestyle, people... specifically across in a public school district, you’re going to have some families that, that mobile option works for them because they move a lot. And then others, that stationary obstacles for them because they’ve been stationary [inaudible 00:00:22:47].
And so for us, as we began looking at our people, and the specific nuances associated with everyday life, that’s a chance to plug in and plug out and take out other providers, so that way it’s not just, well, Comcast, you own this outright. No. We’re an ecosystem for which many people are leaning in, in Detroit. And so my job, the job of many other folks, to be able to make those swim lanes clear so that way those providers feel empowered.
Which is the complete flip than what you usually hear, which is usually our providers are bad, they’re terrible, they don’t do anything. Well, sure, but we should have that blame, too, because we know our community best, and if we’re not laying those swim lanes for them to be able to see where they can clearly make an impact, it’s one thing for them to just be ignorant to this and say, Oh, well, I didn’t know. But it’s another thing for us to make that swim lane so clear, articulate their value, and if they consciously then do not engage, then we can take them to [inaudible 00:23:39]. But only after we identify where they’re best suited to do the work.
I think cities across America have failed to do that, so as a result, they’re beating their providers over a head with a stick, and they’re trying... “We need municipal,” and I’m like, “No, you need to empower your existing providers,” and only then will they consciously say, “No, we can’t do anything, man,” then you can then say, “but let’s look at other options.” But until that happens, I don’t think we’re justifying spending any additional capital doing what can already be done over a simple process of identifying what needs can be met and what needs these providers can actually step to be able to address.
Rob Atkinson: No, that’s great.
Jackie Whisman: We agree. [crosstalk 00:24:20]
Rob Atkinson: Building the ecosystem, that seems to be the key.
Jackie Whisman: And as someone on the front lines, clearly, of helping ensure widespread digital use here, what can the federal government do to support cities like yours in the effort? I know we’re going to go over time anyway, but this might really double us, I think.
Joshua Edmonds: There’re several things. One, earlier this year, I had the very distinct pleasure and honor to testify in front of Congress on digital equity. And being able to represent the city of Detroit and urban cities across America on that, that’s beautiful. And I think that’s where the federal government has the very unique position to be able to position these local leaders in the face of the federal government, so that way we’re being heard nationally, which then validates us locally.
Because it’s not like you can wave the digital inclusion flag locally, and everyone’s like, digital inclusion, cool, that’s sexy. No one knows what the heck it is half the time. So for us, that validates and helps. [inaudible 00:25:20] in front of Congress, it was like, oh, wow, the federal government looks at him as an expert, who hopefully I do, too, now.
That’s the type of stuff that’s been afforded to me that I know has not been afforded to other people across the United States who have been trying to do this work longer than I have. And so that’s one role of the federal government [inaudible 00:25:35] doesn’t cost you a lot of money. Just give people time, access, a platform. In addition-
Rob Atkinson: Go for it.
Joshua Edmonds: My role, as the director of digital crews at the city, there needs to be directors of digital inclusion across America and municipal governments. We have a very unique role for what... I can interact with the providers, I can interact with my grassroots leaders, I can interact with the churches, I can interact with every single entity and person that flows through this. I’m talking to banks, I’m talking about online banking, and how that intersects with the digital divide, and financial literacy.
And then I’m switching over and talking to my healthcare agencies about the future of healthcare delivery and how that flows to telehealth. I own all the intersections. Not to say, I as Josh, but the city and my role does. And so as I’m looking at all these other entities and initiatives across the U.S., if you don’t have a director of digital inclusion, you have some broadband coordinator, that doesn’t cut it. Get yourself a director appointed, that has the power, that then can steward and shepherd those relationships and then what happens? Right above them, you have the director of digital inclusion at the state level. So then the state is doing the same thing that the local’s doing, so then our swim lanes are matching. And so if I’m a partner that is on the ground in Detroit, but I have statewide things, we’re then [inaudible 00:26:54] resources together.
The conversations live within the same vertical, which that extend all the way up, where I’m going to say it now, there needs to be a director of digital inclusion in the White House. Not within the FCC, not within human services, the Department of Labor, no. Within the White House. Because that same person is going to do the same thing that I’m doing now, looking across the various agencies and entities, looking at national folks, and stewarding that process along, which is then empowering every single level on down to the local person, who right now is disempowered and doing this on their own.
And yes, there is a projection in that answer, but nonetheless, that is exactly what happens, I do not believe in any other deviation from that. Any other deviation from that would be us settling for less. And so this is just me now seeing this, I was going [inaudible 00:27:44] in Cleveland, had the distinct honor of yes, working in public housing, but also working in philanthropy at the Cleveland Foundation, so I can see what happens and how you need to impress these models, but I also see what happens when you don’t have your local government involved in that, then you create a donut model. Everyone’s working around them.
Whereas in Detroit, I’m not going to say we have a hush puppy, or whatever, whatever that full circle is, a full, solid circle, that’s where we’re actually being able to advocate and I need that advocacy that extends beyond us, to the state, to the federal government, mainly at the White House, because that’s how we get empowerment, and that’s how we move the needle.
Rob Atkinson: So we need to close here, Joshua, but at every election, we produce a tech agenda for the next administration, whether it’s President Trump or President Biden. And there’s a great line in the movie Midnight Cowboy that Dustin Hoffman says, where he’s taking food from a party and somebody says, “It’s stealing.” And he says, “Well, if it’s free, it’s not stealing.” And so I’m going to steal your idea.
Joshua Edmonds: [inaudible 00:28:45].
Rob Atkinson: Because I love it so much. And I’ll give you credit for it. But I really think it’s a fantastic idea that I think we at ITIF want to really try to push forward as well. I think that three-tier system... And not just broadband, we need to stop thinking about this as a broadband issue. It’s a digital inclusion issue, which is multi-faceted, as you’re doing with multiple partners involved and engaged.
Anyway, Joshua, this was fantastic. We really appreciate it.
Jackie Whisman: Thank you so much.
Joshua Edmonds: I appreciate both of you all. Thank you for the time, thank you for the work that you all do. This is fantastic, and a great opportunity, again, to be heard on a national level. So thank you for your time today.
Jackie Whisman: And that’s it for this week. If you liked it, please be sure to rate us and subscribe. Feel free to email show ideas or questions to [email protected]. You can find the show notes and sign up for our weekly email newsletter on our website, ITIF.org, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, @ITIFdc.
Rob Atkinson: And we have more episodes and great guests lined up. New episodes will drop every other Monday, so we’ll hope you continue to tune in.